By definition, en plein air places the artist in communion with a scene and an environment. The wilderness flows and coalesces around the artist. Painter John Mac Kah, in return, embraces the natural world for its inspiration. “To travel and experience different environments is a joyful privilege,” he says. “My first response [when] seeing a place for the first time [is knowing] that the moment is unique.” That recognition underpins Mac Kah’s careful recreation of landscapes and naturalist scenes in his show Essential Nature. With restraint, training, and self-awareness, Mac Kah dedicates his efforts “to see, to accept what is given, what is truly there.” For that is the most faithful way to portray the scenes he is a part of: “Nature has no agenda, it’s very honest,” he explains. “The only meaning is one we attach to it.”
John Mac Kah’s show Essential Nature is on display at the Grand Bohemian Gallery, located at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville (11 Boston Way, Asheville, NC), through June 25. Select works will be available for viewing beyond the end of the show. // The gallery is open Mon–Wed, 10am–7pm; Thurs–Fri, 10am–8pm; Sat, 10am–5pm; and Sun, 10am–7pm.